Freight Consortium Looks to Create API Standards

freight consortium trucker on lonely road feature

A freight consortium made up of J.B. Hunt, Uber Freight and Convoy is looking to create an industry standard for using application programming interface (API) connections to share data among partners in order to solve freight scheduling challenges, initially addressing full truckload (TL).

The aim of the Scheduling Standards Consortium, as the name implies, is to address the disparate, fragmented nature of data sharing by establishing the freight industry’s first formal set of API standards for freight appointment scheduling.

The threefold plan of the freight consortium is to define an API standard for sharing scheduling information, implement standardized interfaces to enable integrations in existing systems and advocate for the standard across the industry.

Representatives of logistics and freight forwarding provider C.H. Robinson, DHL Global Forwarding and freight carrier A. Duie Pyle passed on comment about the formation of the freight consortium.

“As the industry turns increasingly to an integrated network of providers and solutions to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of each shipment, it has become important to define and share a consistent data architecture and API standard for the distribution of scheduling information,” the group said in a press release.

The freight consortium is looking to sign up brokers, 3PLs, TMS and WMS vendors to help create and maintain the new standards “to help shape the future of supply chain efficiency.” The initial standards and documentation, covering full truckload freight, will be available as early as Q1, the group said.

Dan Lewis, Convoy’s CEO and co-founder, said scheduling of the approximately 1.5 billion annual pickup and drop-off appointments is one of the most complicated and consequential things about freight efficiency.

“Scheduling is a tech problem at the end of the day,” Lewis said. “When all the trucks are plugged into a digital network, the industry can better orchestrate freight needs with data-informed systems. A standard API-based approach allows companies to access the latest data and make smart decisions to increase efficiency, reduce empty miles and waste, lower costs and improve service outcomes. This is the future of freight.”